Belfast Telegraph

LVG thrilled as his boys raise game

By Nick Mashiter

Louis van Gaal welcomed an improved performance from his Manchester United side following the 1-0 victory over Aston Villa.

United maintained their impressive record at Villa Park thanks to Adnan Januzaj's first-half strike.

Januzaj, who made a rare start having been linked with a loan move away, scored as United took their unbeaten run at the ground to 20 league matches.

United managed only one shot on target in beating Tottenham last Saturday in the opening game of the new Premier League season and, even though they managed to hit the target only twice at Villa Park, Van Gaal was impressed with the improvement in their performance.

"I think we have played better than last week and it was an away match so I'm very happy," he said.

"I think in the first 20 minutes we kept the ball better and we scored a wonderful goal from a fantastic pass from Mata.

"After that I think they were a little bit nervous because we lost the ball too easy but in the second half, especially after the substitutes, I think we played very controlled and could have score more than only one."

Januzaj, who has found his first-team opportunities limited under Van Gaal, was pleased to make such an impact on his return to action for United.

"Obviously (I'm) feeling good after scoring the goal, obviously I've not had a game for a long time so my match fitness is not so good but I'm happy to score for the team an score the winner," he said.

"I hope to have more games and hopefully score more goals."

The Belgium international has been linked with a loan move this season but insists his immediate future lies with the 20-time league champions.

He added: "It's only rumours, I am happy here and of course I am going to fight for my place."

Mata is a fan of Friday night football, saying: "Friday night football is very nice," he said. "If you win you have the whole weekend to watch football and relax."

Sherwood was impressed with Villa's resilience but felt they lacked a cutting edge in attack. "I thought we nullified them but didn't carry a threat ourselves which is a bit disappointing," he said. "We've got a lot of players who are still finding their feet at this level and in this country so it's to be expected."

Villa captain Micah Richards said: "It is a big pitch, they kept the ball well. We were chasing shadows a little but in the end their quality showed.

Belfast Telegraph


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